Gov. Phil Bryant, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Roger Wicker and Congressman Steven Palazzo have joined to advocate the growth of the export market for liquefied natural gas. More efficient, timelier approval of LNG export projects by U.S. Department of Energy could spur significant LNG export growth in Mississippi.
Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC., in Pascagoula, Miss., has indicated that DOE approval of its request to export liquefied natural gas could lead to $8 billion in facility investments. Gov. Bryant toured the Gulf LNG facility Thursday.
"Mississippi is well positioned as a leader in the energy economy. We enjoy an abundance of natural resources and have been rated among the top places in the world for oil and gas investment by the Fraser Institute. In addition to seeing increased growth from production and extraction, Mississippi can also capture growth through the export market," Gov. Bryant said. "Efficient and timely approval of LNG export projects by the U.S. Department of Energy could have a significant impact on the U.S. energy landscape and could spur the largest economic development project the Mississippi Gulf Coast has seen in recent years if the Gulf LNG facility in Pascagoula is approved to begin exporting liquefied natural gas. I am working closely with Mississippi's congressional leaders to make this project a reality as soon as possible."
Last year, Cochran and Wicker cosponsored the Expedited LNG for American Allies Act of 2013 (S.192), which would require the Secretary of Energy to allow approve exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, to NATO allies and Japan. Under current law, the Energy Secretary is only required to approve exports to countries that have free trade agreements with the United States that encompass trade in natural gas. This bipartisan legislation is pending the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
"Exporting liquefied natural gas produced by Americans to our allies can strengthen our economy and our national security. For Mississippi, the prospect of LNG exports from our coast would enhance job creation and grow our economy," Sen. Cochran said. "The Obama administration needs to abandon its reluctance to promote American energy and allow more liquefied natural gas export projects to move forward."
"Mississippi is poised to take a leading role in exporting American-produced LNG to the world market," Sen. Wicker said. "One such project in Pascagoula has enormous economic potential for the community, the state, and our country. Unfortunately, the Department of Energy continues to drag its feet when processing LNG export applications. These bureaucratic roadblocks are detrimental to our economy and national security interests. I urge the Administration to loosen its grip on the process and expedite these applications without delay."
"Enabling access of domestically produced natural gas to the international energy market will produce net economic benefits in the United States," Congressman Palazzo said. "The expansion of LNG sales to foreign customers will help grow the domestic market by encouraging greater investment in the development of U.S. gas resources, which will lead to increased economic development and a stable supply for U.S. customers."